Album Reviews

Dual Fighter – ‘Mean Machines’ Review

Imagine a band with the Hard Rock attitude of Fireball Ministry, the unstoppable energy of The Atomic Bitchwax, and the slightest tinge of your favorite Psych Rock act, and you may have the inner workings of Dual Fighter, a new band out of Indianapolis.

This heavy duo delivers a headbanging debut packed with slick and exciting riffs, catchy vocals, and exhilarating lead guitar surprises. Mean Machine is one album you don’t want to miss.

About Dual Fighter

A relatively new band, the Dual Fighter duo formed in 2021 over a love of ‘70s Heavy Metal and Hard Rock, especially Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and MC5.

The Indianapolis-based duo is:

  • Greg Osborne – Guitars, Vocals
  • Andrew Funke – Bass

Mean Machines is the band’s debut album. It was written, arranged, produced, and mixed by Greg Osborne and mastered by Tyler Watkins at Postal Recording. The multi-talented Greg Osborne also assembled the album cover:

Editor’s Note: If you look closely, you’ll notice a skull in the planet!

Mean Machines Album Review

Tracks: 8
Length: 34:59
Release: March 25, 2022
Label: Galactic Fire Records

Track 1: Planet One Shutdown

Lightly cosmic and Psychedelic, “Planet One Shutdown” is a steady, sure-footed rocker that establishes Mean Machines with all the power of a Fireball Ministry track smoothed at the edges to become a slick, polished piece of Hard Rock. Plus, we get a taste of Osborne’s brutal lyrics:

It’s a devastated, mutilated, dark world burning down
Suffocated, terminated, gruesome, dead countdown
You incinerated, decimated, triggered our meltdown
Contaminated, tormented, planet one shutdown

Track 2: Fireball

Dual Fighter’s hometown of Indianapolis is famous for its auto racing, and the first single from Mean Machines is fittingly about a racecar zipping down the track, completely engulfed in flames. It’s a powerful image, and Greg Osborne guides the narrative with his smooth vocals while delivering waves of fuzzy guitars and catchy hooks.

Track 3: Wake the Echoes

“Wake the Echoes” rides a bouncy, upbeat intro into verses punctuated by power chords and choruses layered in vocals. This is a laid-back track—until that massive solo in the second half.

Track 4: Sparks Fly

Opening like a racecar cutting corners and vying for position, the churning bassline in “Sparks Fly” propels the song forward like The Atomic Bitchwax, and the layered guitars add another dash of cosmic energy. Like “Wake the Echoes,” this is another song that transforms in the second half—so be sure to stick around for Osborne’s guitar heroics!

Track 5: Mean Machines

Running nearly seven minutes in length, the title track takes its time getting established, relying on even more Psychedelic influences than “Planet One Shutdown.” Steady and intoxicating, “Mean Machine” builds and builds and builds—eventually concluding on a soaring wave of guitars. 

Track 6: Hear the Eruption

After the slow and steady “Mean Machines,” “Hear the Eruption” moves much quicker (it’s under three minutes, after all). This track features frenetic drums, a blistering guitar solo, and a false conclusion that plucks you out of your seat when the instruments kick back in. 

Track 7: Psycho Blues

An excellent guitar-driven song with a big, fuzzy riff, “Psycho Blues” is about the dangers of a police state, and that droning guitar in the song even sounds like a far-off war plane approaching over the horizon.  

Track 8: Renegades

“Renegades” is a simple and quick acoustic track featuring a single guitar and Osborne’s smooth vocals, and it serves as a nice wind-down after the excitement of the last seven tracks.

Lyrically, “Renegades” dives into running away together, and it concludes the album on these words:

I wanna be where you are tonight
I don’t care if we’re misunderstood
We’re not lonely, we know who we are
Together in this solitude

We are the renegades
The renegades

Final Thoughts on Dual Fighter’s Mean Machines

Final Score: 8.5/10

Favorite Tracks: “Fireball,” “Sparks Fly,” and “Mean Machines”

Pros: There’s plenty to love in Mean Machines, from its exciting guitar solos to its silky smooth vocals. Dual Fighter is still a vastly underappreciated duo, but that is likely a short-lived anomaly. Mean Machines is an excellent album that should please Hard Rock fans everywhere.

Cons: For as heavy and infectious as “Mean Machines” is, I get the sense Dual Fighter would be a better live act. Yes, this is a serviceable album and the songwriting is tight—but there are some sections that seem like they should have hit harder. “Hear the Eruption,” for example, doesn’t quite pack the punch I would expect from such a quick, hard-moving track, and that’s partially because the drums and bass are pushed slightly into the background. Still, I’ll be watching closely to see what else the band releases in the future!

Learn More About Dual Fighter

To learn more about Dual Fighter, check out their Bandcamp page, subscribe to their YouTube channel, or follow them on social media (Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter).

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